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Motion Passed: Amend TalkBoard Guidelines on Requirements for Motions to Pass

Motion Passed: Amend TalkBoard Guidelines on Requirements for Motions to Pass

Old Aug 8, 11, 9:06 am
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nsx
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Motion Passed: Amend TalkBoard Guidelines on Requirements for Motions to Pass

On 8 August 2011 the TalkBoard passed 7-2:

Moved by nsx and seconded by jackal:

The TalkBoard Guidelines have been interpreted to treat the Abstain option as a vote, which makes it the functional equivalent of a No vote. This treatment departs from Robert's Rules of Order:
The phrase "abstention votes" is an oxymoron, an abstention being a refusal to vote. To abstain means to refrain from voting, and, as a consequence, there can be no such thing as an "abstention vote."

In the usual situation, where either a majority vote or a two-thirds vote is required, abstentions have absolutely no effect on the outcome of the vote since what is required is either a majority or two thirds of the votes cast. On the other hand, if the vote required is a majority or two thirds of the members present, or a majority or two thirds of the entire membership, an abstention will have the same effect as a "no" vote. Even in such a case, however, an abstention is not a vote.
Some posters on TalkBoard Topics have argued that the current "participating in" wording is ambiguous, and one could imagine that a future President of the TalkBoard might attempt to apply a different interpretation. Previous TalkBoards have been unable to achieve a 2/3 vote for any clarification.

Therefore the TalkBoard recommends that the TalkBoard Guidelines be modified as follows to conform to standard terminology. Under this modification, a proposal will win approval with 2/3 of the yes or no votes but no less than a majority of the full TalkBoard membership. For example, a vote of 5 yes, 2 no, and 2 present but abstain would fail under the current interpretation but succeed under this proposal:
Section 4, paragraph C, sub-paragraphs ii, v, vi(b), and vii are replaced with the following text:

ii. TalkBoard members may register their selection of yes, no or present but abstain while the voting period is open.
v. Once a TalkBoard member registers a selection that selection is final.
vi.
b. all TalkBoard members have registered their selections.
vii. A motion shall pass if at least two-thirds of the yes or no votes cast by TalkBoard members are ‘yes’ and a majority of the total TalkBoard membership votes 'yes.'
Voting yes: Cholula, jackal, lucky9876coins, nsx, SkiAdcock, Spiff, UA_Flyer

Voting no: bhatnasx, Markie
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